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A fire engine is parked in the department loading bay at Beale Air Force Base, California, March 27, 2020. Engines are always parked facing out so when an emergency call happens they are ready to go. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)
Beale firefighters stand at parade rest for an official photo at Beale Air Force Base, California, March 27, 2020. The 9th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighters are credited with receiving the Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ralph E. Sanborn, Fire Department of the Year Award for medium sized fire department across the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)
A wooden American flag is mounted on the wall surrounded by patches of various fire departments that Beale firefighters have worked with, at Beale Air Force Base, California, March 27, 2020. Beale firefighters train and assist local fire departments in times of local crisis or during upgrade training. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)
Staff Sgt. Brandon Green, 99th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief, sprays disinfectant liquid on a rag to sanitize a U-2 Dragon Lady’s cockpit Mar. 23, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. The cockpits on Beale’s fleet of U-2s will be sanitized on a regular basis to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)
Staff Sgt. Brandon Green, 99th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief, disinfects the side of a U-2’s canopy Mar. 23, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Airmen are sanitizing the U-2 Dragon Lady’s cockpit regularly, ensuring the safety of U-2 pilots and Airmen working on the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)
The Commissary on Beale Air Force Base California, Mar. 23, 2020. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman Jason W. Cochran)
Airman Leon Guico, Left, 9th Medical Group (MDG) health administrator, and Senior Airman Christopher Miracle, 9th MDG optometry technician, guard the Entry Control Point (ECP) at the Clinic on Beale Air Force Base, California, Mar. 12, 2020. The ECP was set up at the Beale Clinic to protect Airmen and their families from the growing COVID-19 threat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)
Lynn Bergmann, 9th Medical Group (MDG) patient safety program coordinator, right, and Denise Ross, 9th MDG Patient Advocate, left, pose for a photo in front of the clinic’s marquee on Beale Air Force Base, California, March 11, 2020. National Patient Safety Week occurred from 8-14 March 2020.
Lynn Bergmann, 9th Medical Group (MDG) Patient Safety Program Coordinator, center, and Denise Ross, 9th MDG Patient Advocate, right, speak to an Airman about patient safety on Beale Air Force Base, California, March 11, 2020. Educating Beale personnel was one of several things Bergmann and Ross did to promote Patient Safety week.
A beaker of Liquid Oxygen (LOX) is stationed in a testing area at Beale Air Force Base, California, March 4, 2020. Airmen observe the beaker and the film of white paper inside to see and smell if the LOX has any discoloration, discrepancies or smell. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

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Chief's Corner

I am an American Airman

Too often I hear the statement, “The Air Force has no tradition…certainly not like the other services.” Or there’s the comment, “The Air Force changes everything all the time.  New uniforms, AFI’s, etc….how can we expect to maintain any heritage or tradition?”
I submit there is one decisive, deliberate, and motivating action each of us can take.  No matter the position you hold, the grade you wear, or if you are active duty, guard, reserve, retired, every single one of us can implement this small, yet powerful change today.  The change refers to a facet of our current culture.
Malcolm Gladwell speaks about culture change in his book, ‘Tipping Point’.  In his book, the author posits that even the smallest adjustments to habits, routines, or attitudes can have a significant impact on the culture or perception of an organization, population, or product.
Therefore, I challenge everyone to stop referring to members of our Air Force as ‘TROOPS’. 
According to Merriam-Webster, the primary definition of the word troop is:
a. A group of soldiers
b. A cavalry unit corresponding to an infantry company
c. A flock of mammals or birds
I understand a definition is literal, however, there are two problems with the way we throw this term around to refer to our Airmen.  First, the word troop is actually plural…referring to a group of soldiers.  Lastly, and most poignantly, the word troop is actually rooted in a tradition and heritage of another service.  And before we start the “But Chief, we were born out of the Army” conversation, I would ask you to consider a few points. 
We were born out of the Army for a reason.  We fulfill several needs that no other organization can: to keep up with advancing technology and to take warfighting to an entirely different level, both geographically and mentally.  The Army and Navy were long-time competitors for military leadership and neither service thought that the other should take on the new tasks of strategic deterrence missions associated with the advent of the atomic bomb.  This, along with many other great reasons, is why our Air Force, and our AIRMEN were created.
Think about it.  The United States Air Force was created for some of the most sophisticated warfare challenges of the time. 
So, let’s continue the tradition born in 1947 and call each other what we truly are.  Please, call me Airman.

Chief Hall

 

 

ArticleCS

Squadron Innovation Fund: 9th CONS executes, meets unit demands

Squadron Innovation Fund: 9th CONS executes, meets unit demands

Senior Airman Micah-James Carley, 9th Contracting Squadron contracting officer, helps a customer on the phone Oct. 5, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The Air Force announced a new program known as the Squadron Innovation Fund (SIF), which appropriated $64 million for funding innovative ideas. 9th CONS received and executed $720,000 and seven contracts with the fund. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Squadron Innovation Fund: 9th CONS executes, meets unit demands

Senior Airman Micah-James Carley, 9th Contracting Squadron contracting officer, inputs information Oct. 5, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The Air Force announced a new program known as the Squadron Innovation Fund (SIF), which appropriated $64 million for funding innovative ideas. 9th CONS received and executed $720,000 and seven contracts with the fund. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

The Air Force announced a new program known as the Squadron Innovation Fund (SIF) designed to fund new ideas. The program was inspired by the success of the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron’s initiative to overcome challenges they experienced while performing their mission independent of leadership oversight.

 

The program appropriated $64 million to provide units across the Air Force with funding for innovative ideas.

 

“The Squadron Innovation Fund was set aside Airmen’s ideas, which they would never be able to fund with their squadron budget,” said 1st Lt. David Kirkland 9th Contracting Squadron services and commodities flight commander. “We executed about $720,000 and seven contracts.”

                            

In addition to funding the 99th RS and a plethora of smaller projects, 9th CONS funded major projects for the 13th RS, 12th RS, 9th Security Forces Squadron, and 9th Munitions Squadron, 9th Medical Group, 9th Reconnaissance Wing safety.

 

“All of the projects went up to the wing and they decided where they wanted to spend the money,” Kirkland said. “The bulk of it needed a contract and it came through commodities and services.”

 

Funding the contracts required the 9th CONS to do more research than normal since they were all the first of their kind. Even with the added work the unit was able to complete the contracts 75 percent faster than normal.

 

“This is the first time the Air Force has done this, and we executed every dollar given to us,” said Tech. Sgt. Eric Schmitt, NCOIC services.  “As a result, we are going to get more money to continue the program.”

 

Kirkland anticipates the continuation of the SIF and believes next year they will be able to meet demands even more effectively.

 

“We know the money is going to drop for SIF, so we can prepare,” Kirkland said. “This allows us to get a list of Airmen’s Ideas and help them develop a way to buy it. Everyone has ideas on how to better perform their mission and this is the pot of money to help them make that happen. I encourage all Airmen to pass along their ideas and to think outside the box, no idea is too crazy.”

 

9th CONS is optimistic about the future of SIF and are happy they can play a role in improving units’ readiness.

 

“The innovation fund allows Airmen who have an idea to use brand new technology to solve a problem better than they ever have in the past,” Schmitt said. “It is on every Airman to come up with an innovative idea, to find a way to make our Air Force better, make each other better, and make the mission easier to complete.”

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